Monday, January 7, 2013

Bonus Miles

Well, you were going to find out sooner or later, dear reader, so I may as well spill it.  I wrecked my car.  It was a dark and stormy night.  It was a wet and curvy off-ramp.  It was a game of ping pong, or maybe pinball, and I lost.

Correction: I didn't really lose because I didn't hurt anyone and didn't get hurt myself, except for a stiff neck that my car insurance is now paying to get cracked and massaged.  Since the day after Thanksgiving, your favorite blogger (that's me, right?!) has been living the car-free lifestyle.  Again. 

I proudly lived car-free for five years in Chicago, a decade in San Francisco, a year or so in Eugene, and three in Portland.  I finally caved in to the pressure to get a car when my lower back gave out and biking and busing were no longer options.  But, here I am again.  Hopefully, I'm way less self-righteous about it this time around.

Calling it the car-free lifestyle is misleading.  It's also the chauffeur lifestyle because I get rides from friends to out of town destinations and even the grocery store sometimes.  The nice people at Amazon have agreed to drive all the heavy items I need right to my front door.  I've even bartered firewood for a ride to the sewing machine repair store.

I plan to forge ahead, fordless, or chevyless in this case, and just deal.  Being deliberate about rest is a good practice, so I'm commuting by bus one day a week.  My commute is twenty miles round trip so one day off helps free up some leg power for higher mileage weekends, because, after all, bicycling is my hobby too.

3 comments:

  1. “one day off helps free up some leg power for higher mileage weekends”

    Alternatively, if you do it every day it just becomes part of the background noise of living; a 35-45 minute ride in to work would be enough to wake me up, and returning unwinds me (the last job I had was in downtown Portland -- maybe 4 miles from my house as the crow flies -- and every day I'd loop around the Springwater Trail to bring it up to about 8 miles, and on the way back I'd ride Division out to 110th, then drop down to the Springwater for my return home to the tune of about 18 miles.

    It made a nice baseline for breveting around, and let me jump on at least one 400k with basically no preparation outside of telling people on Friday that I was planning to do it on Saturday :-)

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    1. Hey, thanks for reading.

      I hear ya on having a nice high baseline. I don't train for brevets, I just ride 'em!

      My round trip commute is 20 miles. I often add 10 or 20 more onto that per day. Add in 100-175 mile weekends and taking a day off the bike actually improves my fitness. My body needs rest!

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  2. Hey Kitty;

    First off thank goodness you are ok, hope your neck gets better quickly.

    Have you considered a BOB (beast of burden) trailer? I was carfree for a while in B'ham. I found BOB very handy for grocery runs. On the flat/downhill I don't even notice it's on the bike. I bought the dry bag for it and I think I'll take it into the Gorge this Memorial Day.

    You could even borrow Tex's and see if you like it? I basically stole mine for $65 from a aging elk hunter, so I didn't have to pay the $300 full price. I joke that it's my post apocalyptic Plan B.

    I agree with you about the rest day also. From high school swim team, running, triathlon and now bicycling the concept of tapering training down to a big event has been key to my athletic philosophy. Rest is vital. I want to be like a coiled spring ready to explode on the day of the big event. I can always tell if I'm over training because I get irritable (more than normal that is) and I get a dull headache and I know it's day off (even two days) time. Nothing wrong with a day off.

    Doug



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